Milwaukee’s Fire and Police Commission will hire a consultant to audit the Police Department’s crime reporting system, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The move comes after the newspaper found that more than 500 violent assaults were misreported as minor offenses over three years and were not counted in the city’s violent crime rate. Later, the department launched an internal audit that found more than 5,300 aggravated assaults were underreported as lesser crimes since 2006.
Mike Tobin, executive director of the Fire and Police Commission, said the independent review would cost in the “$25,000 range,” and likely would take three or four months. “The issue has brought about a certain degree of community questioning about whether the Police Department is recording the statistics accurately,” Tobin said. “One of our jobs is to promote community trust in the Police Department, and the only way we are going to help improve community trust is to assure our community members that the statistics are being reported correctly.” Police Chief Edward Flynn supports a consultant’s audit, said spokeswoman Anne Schwartz.